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Friday, April 15, 2011

A New Novel, Part 194 May I pray too?

A New Novel, Part 194 May I pray too?

For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.

Matushka Ekaterina is comforting Aksinya.  The Matushka is knows how to take care of young women...

“Hush, Aksinya, Countess…you shouldn’t speak about sorcery. You want to give it up. You shouldn’t let your mind dwell on it.”

“Yes, you’re right, but it has been a part of my life for so long…”

“How old are you, Countess?”

“I’m eighteen.”

“You look younger.”

“I know.” Aksinya played with the spilled tea. “What am I to do now that I don’t have sorcery?”

“What do you know?”

She let out a strange sob, “I know how to be a countess.”

Ekaterina smiled, “Beyond that?”

“Latin, Greek, German, Russian, French. I can speak, read, and write in them. Can anyone do anything with that knowledge?”

“Yes. Those are very good skills. Surely you have read a lot?”

“That is almost all I do—I read.” She sighed, “I wanted to go to school. I’m certain that is at an end now.”

“Perhaps, Countess. We can’t know much of anything right now.” Ekaterina looked up, “I must say the prayers and clean the Ecclesia.”

Aksinya didn’t look up. Her voice was thick with tears, “May I pray too? May I help you?”

Ekaterina smiled, “You may.

So, after Ekaterina has drawn information out of Aksinya, by the way, this is more information than anyone has drawn out of Aksinya in this novel, she begins with her own encouragement.  A very good counselor always leaves the counseled with a sense of their own worth.  So, Ekaterina has questions of her own and a motive of her own for Aksinya. 

First, Aksinya's age.  An easy question.  The answer surprises Ekaterina--she thought Aksinya was younger.  This is another side description within the conversation.  Aksinya breeches the question Ekaterina really wants to push: “What am I to do now that I don’t have sorcery?”

This question makes everything easy for Ekaterina.  She has been waiting for this opportunity.  Don't you catch this from her words?  We learn about Aksinya's skills beyond sorcery.  Ekaterina pounces at that: "Surely you have read a lot?”

Then Aksinya brings up something Ekaterina does not wish her to pursue.  Aksinya had hopes beyond her sorcery--one was to go to school.  That is indeed at an end and might never come again.  Ekaterina can't let Aksinya continue that line of thought...she cuts it off with a distraction.  Aksinya wishes to be of some use.  That is the kicker at the end of the chapter.  We see Aksinya participating with Ekaterina in prayer and cleaning.  Tomorrow, the beginning of chapter 16.

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